is the sole genus in the flowering plan family Moringacea. The name is derived from Aryan and the Tamil word murunggai or the Malayalam word muringa, both of which refer to M. oleifera. It contains 13 species from tropical and subtropical climates that range in size from tiny herbs to massive trees.
The most widely cultivated species is Moringa oleifera, a multipurpose tree native to the foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India and cultivated is thought to have been brought there by ancient Aryans. M. stenopetala, an African species, is also widely grown, but much lesser extent than M. oleifera.
Moringa oleifera silviculture is being promoted as a means to combat poverty and malnutrition. It grows quickly in many types of environments, and much of the plant is edible, including the livestock. The leaves contain all essential amino acids and are rich in protein, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, and minerals. Feeding the high protein leaves to cattle has been shown to increase weight gain by up to 32% and milk production by 43% to 65%. The seeds contain 30% to 40% oil that is high in oleic acid, while a degreased meal is 61% protein. The defatted meal is a flocculent and can be used in water purification to settle out sediments and undesirable organisms.